BY JIM MISUNAS
PRATT — The Hoisington Cardinals pulled off a late-inning comeback to surprise Pratt 10-9 in Tuesday’s Central Kansas League baseball opener. The Cardinals completed the stunning sweep keyed by Derek Boxberger’s pitching and four double plays for a 5-1 victory in Tuesday’s nightcap.
Hoisington swept the doubleheader against Pratt’s top two pitchers. The Cardinals (5-1, 5-1 CKL) travel to Haven (5-1, 3-1 CKL) Friday.
HOISINGTON 10, PRATT 9 (G1) — Hoisington took advantage of nine walks and clutch hitting to steal the opener. Kameron Schneweis scored the game-winning eighth-inning run on Myles Menges’ groundout after a walk and a wild pitch off reliever Wyatt Schrag.
Jacob Specht scored the tying run on Hunter Hanzlick’s groundout after Specht’s RBI single and Trey Byers’ RBI double. Jerred Bieberle, Braxton Donovan and Myles Menges drew walks off reliever A.J. Arensdorf. Bieberle scored on a wild pitch.
Specht doubled home Bieberle and Donovan and Specht scored on a Avery Brewer’s first-inning groundout off Pratt starter Kaden Evert. Schrag tripled and scored on Grant Bolen’s groundout. Schrag’s two-run single scored Blake Coss and Evert for a 3-3 tie. Bolen’s triple scored Coss for a 4-3 lead after four innings.
Hanzlick’s sixth-inning double scored Specht and Byers scored on a Boxberger’s groundout for a brief 5-4 lead.
Pratt’s Travis Theis drove home two runs and Schrag, Arnesdorf and Noah Malone added RBI hits for a 9-5 lead heading to the seventh inning.
HOISINGTON 5, PRATT 1 (G2) — Hoisington’s defense was spectacular with four double plays that shut down Pratt’s offense. Shortstop Menges and second baseman Donovan were brilliant by combining for double plays in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings. Shortstop Menges and pitcher Derek Boxberger each started a pair of double plays.
The crafty Boxberger yielded six hits and struck out six batters.
Menges doubled home Bieberle after he reached on a first-inning error. Menges scored the third run on Specht’s fly ball that was misplayed. Derek Boxberger scored on Quentin Boxberger’s fourth-inning groundout for a 4-0 lead.
Byers doubled and scored on Bieberle’s bases-loaded sixth-inning walk for a 5-0 lead. Pratt (3-3, 3-3 CKL) scored a run on Schrag’s seventh-inning passed ball.
Hoisington 300 002 41 — 10 4 1
Pratt 120 105 00 — 9 15 0
Menges, Donovan (6), Boxberger (7), Hanzlick (8) and Specht. Evert, Arensdorf (7), Schrag (7) and Huber. W—Donovan, 1-0. Sv—Hanzlick. L—Schrag, 1-1. 2B—H—Specht, Hanzlick, Byers; P—Evert. 3B—P—Bolen, Schrag.
Hoisington 102 101 0 —5 6 2
Pratt 000 000 1 — 1 8 1
Boxberger, Hanzlick (7) and Specht. Bolen, Malone (4) and Huber. W—Boxberger, 2-1. L—Bolen, 0-1. 2B—H—Menges 2, Byers.